It’s likely that women you know are affected by violence – the good news is you can help

For most of us, home is our safe place. It’s a place we can go to escape the pressures of life and shelter ourselves from danger. Unfortunately, home is not a safe place for everyone. Each year, hundreds of Saskatoon women and children fall victim to domestic violence. Make no mistake, these are women that you know, because violence against women has no socioeconomic barriers. It can happen to anyone. It does happen to far too many.

There are many issues that we need to address to break this awful cycle but the first priority is to provide these women and kids with somewhere to turn. They need a safe place to stay while they rebuild their lives. They need people who understand the challenges they face. People who can help them start again and build a future that’s free of violence.

You can help them find that. You can make an immediate and profound difference in the lives of people who are suffering right now. The question is, will you?

Saskatoon’s YWCA Saskatoon Crisis Shelter and Saskatoon Interval House provide these services. Over the years, thousands of women and children have found refuge in one of these shelters.

On Friday, July 21, 2017, my wife Becky and I head for Iceland to participate in a 100 KM trek to raise funds for this great cause. 85% of the funds we raise will go to the two shelters noted above. The 15% balance will be directed towards violence prevention programs to teach young people how to deal with life’s challenges without resorting to violence.

If you’d like to support us and these great shelters, you can do so by clicking the “Make a Donation” button at www.TeamFisherTrekForShelter.ca. Many thanks to all who have contributed.

We will be without internet access while we trek next week but look forward to updating you when we return.

Norm Fisher

P.S. The photo above was taken in 2015, on a similar trek that took us through the Peruvian Andes on a walk to Machu Picchu. This is our crew celebrating reaching our highest peak in a fundraiser that raised over half a million dollars for Canadian women’s shelters.

What ten years of blogging Saskatoon real estate has taught me

It’s been ten years today since I wrote the first post on the TeamFisher real estate blog. Since that time, we’ve published 1280 times and moderated 15,911 comments from readers.

I’ve learned a lot from the experience. Here are a few of my takeaways.

1) Aaron Levenstein was quoted as saying, “Statistics are like a bikini. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” While impossible to do on a weekly basis, I’ve done my best to provide as deep a look at the stats as I can from time to time.

2) It’s difficult to call the market. As we came out of 2006, major Saskatoon brokerages were predicting price gains of three to five percent for 2007. Prices nearly doubled. Across the years, a couple of booms and more busts that I could count on two hands have been predicted. While we’ve had our ups and downs most of those bumps have been fairly unremarkable, at least when they’re viewed over a few years time.

3) Hard work and consistency do pay off. Having written an average of 2.5 posts per week for ten years with no major failings I like to suggest that I am probably the most consistent real estate broker-blogger in the world. I’m sure you can appreciate that I don’t always feel like contributing a portion of my weekend to the “week in review.” It’s hard work keeping it up. A local talk show host once suggested that a real estate blog on a REALTORS® site is “a bit of a mistake” and suggested I should take it down. I’m glad I didn’t. It took hours and hours and hours of work with no payoff in sight but blogging turned out to be the best decision that I even made professionally.

Exchanging thoughts and doing business with you over the years has been a great honour and a privilege. Thank you so much for reading.

Here’s how the market has changed from our first post until now.

Norm

Lyndon Neher wins Royal LePage Shelter Foundation’s Individual of the Year for Saskatchewan

Shanan Spencer-Brown, Executive Director of the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation presents the "Individual of the Year" award to Lyndon Neher.

Shanan Spencer-Brown, Executive Director of the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation presents the “Individual of the Year” award to Lyndon Neher.

We are very proud to announce that TeamFisher’s Lyndon Neher was selected as the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation’s Saskatchewan “Individual of the Year” for 2015.

This award goes to a Royal LePage REALTOR® with a history of supporting initiatives for the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation, and who has achieved something significant for the foundation in the last year.

Lyndon is a long-time supporter of the foundation through his generous financial donations and his willingness to support fundraising events for the cause. In 2015, he took the initiative to found the Royal LePage Golf Tournament. With his committee that included Colette Gates from Royal LePage Saskatoon, Alyss Gehl of Royal LePage Hallmark and Lisa Poier of Royal LePage Hallmark the tournament raised $23,000 for the YWCA Crisis Shelter and Saskatoon Interval House. This was the single largest fundraising event for the Shelter Foundation in Saskatchewan.

We’re proud of you Lyndon! Congratulations!

The Royal LePage Shelter Foundation is Canada’s largest public foundation dedicated exclusively to funding women’s shelters and violence prevention programs. In a typical year, the Shelter Foundation is the largest corporate donor to most woman’s shelters across Canada.

Every dollar raised goes directly to helping the more than 30,000 women and children who are served each year by the shelters and support programs we fund. Since 1998, the Shelter Foundation has raised more than $20 million and currently supports 200 local women’s shelters and national partners. Our agents donate a portion of their commissions and Royal LePage offices across Canada hold local fundraising events. Our brokers, agents and staff also volunteer and provide in-kind goods to benefit the women and children residing in their local shelters.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Vidorra

Inaugural meeting of 100 Men Who Give a Damn Raises $7200 for YWCA Crisis Shelter

 

The inaugural meeting of 100 Men Who Give a Damn – Saskatoon went off without a hitch last Monday evening at Fionn McCool’s. The group launched successfully with 72 members, all having committed to the concept of donating $100 each to a local charity selected by the group, once each quarter.

The group heard presentations from three very important local charities. Representatives from AIDS Saskatoon, The Bridge, and the YWCA Crisis Shelter all told powerful and touching stories of the needs that their organizations are striving to meet in the Saskatoon community. In the end, the group voted and $7200 was given to the YWCA Crisis Shelter.

100 Men Who Give a Damn defines the group’s mission like this.

Nathan Willick (right) and Norm Fisher of 100 Men Who Give a Damn - Saskatoon present a $7200 gift from the group to Barb MacPherson of the YWCA.

Nathan Willick (right) and Norm Fisher of 100 Men Who Give a Damn – Saskatoon present a $7200 gift from the group to Barb MacPherson of the YWCA.

“We are simply a group of men that want to make a positive impact on local charities in Saskatoon.  By coming together we know that we can change small individual contributions into a very large one that will make a powerful difference. Every three months we will get together to hear about the great work three local charities are undertaking, and then we’ll choose one. Our mandate is 100+ men donating $100 per meeting – that can be $10,000 or more to one charity per quarter! That is powerful.”

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Interested in joining this group? You can sign up here. If you have questions, feel free to reach out to me privately through email. I’d be happy to share my experience.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Vidorra

Buddy's rock bottom – It can happen to anyone

Screen Shot 2016-02-20 at 12.21.57 PMI had never seen him before, and haven’t seen him since.

It was a chilly evening, one of the few we’ve had this winter, when a stranger walked into the Lighthouse. I was assisting at the Community Kitchen where a free hot meal is served twice a week to anyone who wants to attend.

Most who come in head straight for the food line. They’re hungry. Buddy just took a seat by himself, prompting me to approach him and offer a bowl of soup. “No thanks,” he said with a forced smile. I’m just warming up.

“Can I get you a coffee, at least?”, I offered.

“No, thank you very much, but I’m good”, he said, obviously reluctant to take a freebie.

When several minutes passed, I approached him again. “Are you sure you wouldn’t like something to eat, my man?”

Looking up from his seat, he said, “No, but I could sure use someone to talk to. Would you sit with me for a few minutes?”

I took a seat and listened as Buddy opened up, clearly feeling like he needed to explain how someone like him had come to be here. He told me how he had never been unemployed a day in his life, until recently, when the economy took a sudden downturn and jobs in his line of work began to dry up. He had worked hard all of his life. He’d raised a beautiful daughter whom he had supported through university. She was on the home stretch to earning her undergrad degree. He had come here by bus to visit her and while he was here he left the last dollar he had with his daughter. Here he was, tired, broke, with no way to get home. The man had hit his rock bottom. I couldn’t offer much other than the opportunity to connect with another human being during a difficult time, and some encouragement about the future Buddy had helped his daughter create. Fortunately, the Lighthouse could offer him a warm meal (which he eventually accepted) and a place to lay his head. That’s not a bad place to start when one is at their rock bottom.

Places like the Lighthouse, and the Bridge specialize in helping people make a fresh start at a healthy life. There are many reasons people might find themselves there and it’s important that they get the help they need when they arrive. I’m glad they’re here helping people in our community.

That’s why we’re participating in the “Coldest Night of the Year” walk to raise funds for this much needed organization. If you have a few bucks that you’d like to contribute, I’d appreciate it, and so would men and women like Buddy who just happen to have hit a rough spot.

If you’d like to throw a little cash toward this much needed fundraiser, please click here and donate.

Many thanks,

Norm Fisher